Some facts never get old, even when you hear them more than once. That’s the thing about knowledge – there’s so much out there to soak up that even cool facts can fall out of your head as fast as they went in, you know?
So we think that even if you’ve heard these 18 tidbits before, you’re going to love hearing them again – they’re just that good!
18. A rooster once lived for 18 months after he was beheaded.
Mike the Headless Chicken was set to go on the dinner menu one evening in 1945, but instead of falling down dead after having his head chopped off, he just sort of…stood there.
That’s exactly what he did for the next 18 months, while his owners fed him directly into his esophagus and toured him around the country.
They made some cash, he became a minor celebrity, so I guess everyone was better off than if the chopping had done the trick.
17. There are more trees on earth than stars in the Milky Way.
There are between 100 and 400 billion stars in the Milky Way, which seems like a pretty big number, right?
Not so much when you hear that Earth is home to around 3 trillion trees, though.
16. This man was struck by lightning a fourth time…after he died.
Major Walter Summerford had the misfortune to be struck by lightning three times while he was alive.
He probably was relieved that was one thing he didn’t have to worry about anymore…except that wasn’t technically true.
His headstone was struck by lightning and cracked just a few months after his death.
15. Here’s how Jacanas can walk on lily pads.
These little guys have really, really long, spider-like toes that helps their light frames almost be able to walk on water.
14. A serial killer once won The Dating Game.
Rodney Alcala was a serial killer active in the 1970s, when he murdered at least seven women. During his spree, but before his arrest, he went on The Dating Game as one of the bachelors.
Bachelorette Cheryl selected him, but after meeting him backstage, ended up backing out of the date.
She told producers “I can’t go out with this guy. There’s weird vibes that are coming off of him. He’s very strange. I am not comfortable.”
One more reminder to always trust you gut, people.
13. You can never imagine the beauty of a lavender field.
If you have a picture of what it might look like in your mind, I doubt it can compare to reality.
I’d like to visit the tulip fields, myself.
12. African elephants have more neurons than humans.
The average African elephant’s brain has 257 billion neurons.
If that seems like a big number, it could just be that your puny human brain – with three times fewer neurons, maybe we just can’t really grasp it.
11. This prehistoric snake weighed more than 2000 pounds.
Titanoboa was almost 40 feet long and weighed more than 2,000 pounds. It’s far and away the biggest snake that ever lived.
And, I’m no expert, but I’m guessing it was more than big enough to swallow a person.
Or maybe even more than one.
10. Adolf Hitler and J.R.R. Tolkien fought on opposing sides of the same WWI battle.
The Battle of the Somme (aka the Somme Offensive) was one of the largest and deadliest conflicts of WWI.
There are several veterans of note who fought there, including Otto Frank, Harold Macmillan, and a million others who weren’t lucky enough to make it home.
9. This frog can look exactly like a leaf.
The Proceratophrys boiei can flatten themselves onto the rainforest floor, blending in with the actual leaves there in order to avoid predators.
What kind of jerk would threaten such a cute little frog?
8. The Ferris Wheel was a response to the Eiffel Tower.
Alexandre Gustave Eiffel designed and built the Eiffel tower for the 1889 World’s Fair that took place in Paris, France.
It was the tallest tower in the world at the time, and over 30 million people attended the fair to marvel at the structure.
When it came time for Chicago to host the 1893 World’s Fair, they wanted to create something fresh that would draw attendees, as well.
The organizers held a competition for architects and designers to submit plans for an original structure, a contest that was won by Pittsburgh engineer George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr – and the Ferris Wheel was born.
7. A French engineer might have identified the Zodiac Killer.
The Zodiac Killer famously sent ciphers to San Francisco newspapers in the 1970s, but even though he tried to help police solve his many murders, the cases remain officially unsolved.
Three of the ciphers remain unsolved, and one of them apparently holds the key to the killer’s identity – an identity that Frenchman Faycal Ziraoui says he’s figured out by solving cipher Z13.
He claims the cipher reads “My Name is KAYE,” which would make sense, because Lawrence Kaye was the prime suspect in the case all of those years ago. Detective Harvey Hines was 100% convinced he was the culprit but they never had the evidence to make an arrest.
The cipher results haven’t been confirmed by the FBI, but even if it’s true, it won’t matter in so many words – Kaye passed away in 2010.
6. It only takes the International Space Station 90 minutes to orbit Earth.
The International Space Station covers 5 miles every second, which means it goes around our entire planet every hour and a half.
It’s kind of hard to imagine, don’t you think?
5. Apparently, space kind of stinks.
Of course no astronaut has been able to poke his or her nose out of the hatch and just take a big whiff, but the smell out there is strong enough to cling to their suits and follow them back into safety.
Those who have smelled it firsthand struggle to define it, calling it “hard to describe,” “different than anything else,” or maybe a bit “metallic,” or even a “seared steak.”
I can’t help but wonder what it might be made of!
4. The mysterious, vintage Coke machine in Seattle, Washington.
For 30 years, there was a vintage Coke machine on John Street in Seattle, Washington.
You put in 75 cents and the machine spit out a beverage of its choice – maybe something current, but maybe a soda that had been discontinued years (or decades) earlier.
No one knows who stocked and maintained the machine all that time – just like no one knows who removed it in 2018.
3. Harriet Tubman led troops into battle.
You know that Harriet Tubman was an integral part of the Underground Railroad, where she led hundreds of slaves to freedom in the north.
You might not know that she was also the first American woman to lead troops into battle; she led a successful and daring raid on Combahee Ferry that resulted in the liberation of around 700 slaves.
In 2021, Tubman was recognized for her contributions as a spy and inducted into the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame.
2. Jonathan the Tortoise is the oldest living land animal.
He lives in the Galapagos islands and was born in 1832.
He’s around 189 years old, which makes him the oldest (known) land-dwelling animals on Earth.
1. The moon was created in a pretty terrifying way.
We talk a lot about how the earth was formed, but what about the moon?
The most widely accepted theory is the “giant-impact hypothesis,” which posits that an object the size of Mars once crashed into Earth, after which big chunks of our planet and the impact object fused together to form the moon.
I’m not sorry to have missed that.
Some of these are just going to send me right down the rabbit hole, y’all!
What’s your favorite fact? We want to hear it in the comments!